Referee attacked in inter-club hockey match in Karachi

KARACHI: The final of Karachi inter-club Hockey Championship turned ugly when players of Hanif Khan XI Hockey club attacked the referee after disagreeing with one of the on-field decisions.

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School kids and young hockey fans were shocked when four players of the club started beating the referee Takreem Iftikhar during the 4th quarter of the final match against Beecham club.

Watching team’s players attacking the referee, the head coach of Pakistan team Hanif Khan couldn’t resist his anger, and he too picked the hockey stick to express displeasure on players’ behaviour.

Referee Takreem Iftikhar accused that four players of Hanif Khan XI – Zeeshan, Imran, Jimmy and Fahad – attacked him after he turned down their appeal for a foul by opponents.

“It is not an attack on me, it is an attack on respect of referees everywhere,” said Takreem after the incident.

“I want strict action against them, and if appropriate action is not taken against these players, then I will not stand as referee in any of the game in future,” he warned.

Olympian Hanif Khan, who’s also the patron of the club, said that he was disappointed with the attitude of players and said that he would want Karachi Hockey Association to take strict action against the players.

“This is not good. We are here to play Hockey, not to fight with anyone. This is the wrong precedent and players – whoever they are – should be suspended,” said Hanif.

Hanif also defended his decision to enter the ground.

“I picked the Hockey stick to control the players, they must know that there are people who can teach them how to remain disciplined,” he said.

The tournament committee, according to the member Mansoor Ahmed, will now witness the video footage of the incident before taking a final decision against the players.

Meanwhile, the Beecham club defeated Hanif Khan XI club 4-3 to win the final of inter-club Hockey Championship. Sibtain, Ali, Iftikhar and Taha scored one goal each for the victorious club.

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